Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., on Sunday said he hopes there will be Senate agreement on a measure that could include expanded background checks for gun sales to help curb the nation's relentless mass shootings.
In an interview on CBS News' "Face The Nation," Toomey called controlling gun ownership a "big, complicated problem."
"Republican voters expect Republicans to defend the Second Amendment," he said. "I think there is a place to land that's consistent with the Second Amendment, as I've been advocating for expanding background checks."
He added, "Encouraging states to have some kind of red flag laws could make sense as long as there's adequate due process.
"I think there are school safety provisions, there are mental health issues that we could address. So there are things we could do that would be constructive, that are consistent with Republican values, and I'm hoping we'll get there," he said.
But he said there are also a number of roadblocks to consensus.
"Criminality in our big cities has escalated enormously," he pointed out. "But there's a lot of factors contributing to that. In some cases, it's district attorneys who think their job is to make sure no one goes to jail. That's a problem. And then, of course, we have these horrific sensational massacres, where a young man clearly has just gone completely off the rails and is deranged. And that's a very different set of circumstances. So it's a big, complicated problem."
According to Toomey, President Joe Biden missed a much-anticipated chance to reach across the aisle to Republicans.
"I think the president might have been a president who would reach across the aisle (to) try to bring people together," he said. "But he's chosen not to take that approach. Since Day 1, he has sided with the far left of his party and really not reached out to Republicans. … the president is not being very helpful.”
It will all eventually come down to a Senate vote, he asserted.
"I think at the end of the day, this is going to come down to whether we can reach a consensus in the United States Senate," he said. "There are intensive discussions underway. It includes people who have not been engaged on this issue in the past. I can't — certainly can't — guarantee any outcome. But it feels to me like we are closer than we've been since I've been in the Senate."
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